Why Data Storage Is the Number One Cyber Recovery Strategy

Modern business and data are inseparable, with customer data, business functions, and important documents all being stored in a company’s data reserves. Considering that there has been a 300% increase in cyber crime over the past few years, it’s unsurprising that many businesses are beginning to worry about their data more than ever before. 

The most common intent of a cyber attack is a data breach, exposing key data or using ransomware to hold that data apart from the company until they pay a certain fine. When it comes to the longevity of a business, the data they produce and hold is no joke, with 94% of small businesses that suffer a catastrophic data breach filing for bankruptcy within a year.

While there are advanced cyber security defence systems and employee training programmes that will reduce the probability of your company being the next target, these will never keep out the threat forever. Instead, a much simpler practice could be the key to keeping your business safe.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the importance of data storage, demonstrating exactly how it can protect your business from rampant cybercrime.

What Are Data Backups?

Backing up your data is the process of making a copy of all of the data your company has access to and then moving it to a different data storage facility. The primary function of these is to ensure you still have access to your files if your central system fails, allowing you to simply turn to the backup to continue working as normal.

However, with the rising cyber crime that targets data, backups have also rapidly become one of the most important ways of preventing the complete loss of your systems. If a hacker takes control of your data, you can move to working from a backup to keep things in order. 

What Are The Best Data Storage Practices In Case Of Emergency?

When cyber crime strikes and wipes out the majority of your systems and holds your own data as ransom against you, you’re going to wish you had a backup or two to turn to. Creating data backups in various formats and in several locations ensures that you have the very best odds of recovery when disaster strikes.

Instead of having to pay a ransom or start from scratch, which most companies cannot survive, you’ll be able to turn to your backups to continue working as normal while your cybersecurity experts work on the problem at hand. 

That said, when creating backups, there are a few core practices that you should always try and follow:

●    Use a hybrid approach
●    Have a full backup and a systems backup
●    Keep customer data separate
●    Encrypt everything

Let’s break these down further.

Hybrid Approach

When backing up your data, there are several different formats that you can follow. Most commonly, these are split into incremental, differential, and full backups. However, going beyond this, we believe that it's important to divide where you’re storing these backups.

As time has gone on, the most popular format of data storage has shifted from local storage to cloud backups. While local storage has a range of benefits, it is normally much more expensive to run and rent the space for it, meaning it has steadily run out of favour.

On the other hand, cloud storage is scalable, instant, and widely available. If your business isn’t already using cloud storage, then we recommend you take a look at a comparison of top companies like Snowflake vs Databricks to get an idea of just how much they offer. You’ll be able to pair your needs with a storage solution to hold your main company backups.

That said, it’s never a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket. The same is true for data security, with the best practice actually being to store backups on both the cloud and locally. Taking this hybrid approach ensures that if either one of your stores was targeted, you’d still have the other one available.

When it comes to data security, you want to have as many bases as possible, meaning turning to local, cloud, hybrid, and whatever else you can get your hands on, is a great idea.  

Multiple Backups

When your business suffers a major data breach or ransomware event, the main focus of the hacker is to ensure that your company cannot function - typically until you pay them a fixed sum. While there is always the easy route of paying the money, this then sets you up as a future target, as people know that you’ll pay whatever amount asked of them.

Due to this, you want to create as many different methods of continuing to work as possible. If your business is fast-paced, then even a few hours without your central systems could cost millions of dollars. That’s why we recommend that you create separate backups for different parts of your business.

Of course, always create an entire ecosystem backup that has all the data you’ve ever produced. Yet, also have systems backups that include all the applications and platforms that your employees need to continue working. If you’re able to constantly give access back to your various teams, then cyber criminals will have a hard time keeping your business down.

The more variations you have in disparate places, the harder it will be to bring your company to a complete halt. 

Keep Customer Data Separate

Whole companies have been built on great branding. That said, nothing kills a brand faster than disappointing customers by leading to their personal information being leaked. When a hacker enters your systems and instantly sees all of your customers' emails, passwords, and even financial information, you’re not only causing a major issue for people around the globe, but you’re also throwing away any reputation you once had.

It’s fairly easy to trace back where a data exposure event occurred, meaning that people will quickly discover that your business was the reason their credit card information is now public discourse. One easy way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to always keep your customer data in a separate directory from everything else.

By creating separate customer data repositories, you can add one further layer of protection, helping to reduce the chance that a hacker finds the correct location and manages to expose its data. Trust us, hide your customer data - they’ll thank you for it!

Encrypt Everything

Encryption is the process of translating data into a new format, ensuring that only those with the decryption key can access and read the data. In short, it’s essentially an incredibly complex password system, where a central key is needed to unlock all of the data.

Encrypting data, especially after following the above four steps, ensures that if a hacker were ever to breach into your record systems, they wouldn’t be able to do anything with your data unless they also liberated the encryption key. By taking this approach, you’re essentially constructing an additional layer of security to keep your business safe.

Equally, if your company does suffer a data breach, you’ll be able to turn to these encrypted files, decrypt those you need to continue running as normal, then distribute them to your staff. While this may not fix your breach problem, it buys you time and ensures that you can continue to effectively run your company even in the face of a catastrophic data event.

Final Thoughts

While cyber defence tools are continually being developed and refined to increase their effectiveness, hackers are simultaneously developing tools to overcome these new defences. With the continual rise in the amount of cybercrime that’s occurring, it’s no longer a rare occurrence to see a company fall into a data breach or accidentally fall into a ransomware trap.

Instead of worrying about cyber security at every single turn, we implore you to turn to data backups as a catch-all solution. By following the strategies outlined in this article, you’ll be able to create multiple backups of your files, keeping your business safe from major data disasters.

With many different backups, you’re able to avert the worst consequences of cyber crime, ensuring your business can always continue to function, even after huge data events.

Brought To You By Rene Mulyandari 

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